Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has a habit of working folks into a frenzy when he speaks - rather unintentionally, I believe. People get worked into a lather as he seems rather flippant, off-putting, or, at worst, condescending.
I usually don't pay too much attention to what he says. I don't let it get under my skin, as I am convinced at least half of it is baloney. But what he said during mini-camp this week when speaking about learning his fourth new offense in Bears uniform disturbed me.
"Really whenever you want to get into it, it’s a three-year process to learn an offense," Cutler was quoted as saying. "It just is what it is. It takes time. It’s hard to go out there Year One and blow the doors off. But we’re going to do the best we can with the time allowed and we’ll see where we’re at.”
I'll admit, I've never tried to run an NFL offense. But this sounds absurd.
Cutler should take a look around the league before saying goofy things like this. Especially after what we saw in the 2012 season.
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh fired Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron in December last year and replaced him with Jim Caldwell. Joe Flacco won the Super Bowl for crying out loud and the Ravens didn't have too many problems scoring points. Granted, Flacco didn't have to learn a brand new offense, but I'm sure it was different.
Look at the other sideline of February's Super Bowl matchup. Niners' quarterback Colin Keapernick played nine NFL games before the Super Bowl. He didn't have trouble learning the offense and helping his team score points.
Russell Wilson wasn't expected to start as the Seahawks quarterback at training camp last season as a rookie. He lead the squad to an 11-5 record. Andrew Luck certainly didn't have trouble learning a new offense as a rookie last season, under a fill-in head coach no less. The Colts went from a 2-14 team in 2011 to making a playoff appearance last year. Robert Griffin III, another rookie last year, helped the Redskins average 27.25 points per game. These guys didn't need three years to learn their respective offenses. Oh yeah, and all three played in playoff games last year.
So why does Cutler feel it necessary to say something so asinine? Especially when he is entering the final year of his contract, and really doesn't have three years to monkey around learning a new offense. Is he angling for an extension already? Or is he trying to diffuse unabashed optimism surrounding Halas Hall?
Cutler needs to play well this season. If he doesn't, the Bears probably won't sign him again and no one else in the league is going to want to pay him the money he wants. He had better learn this offense during training camp and start putting points on the board come Sept. 8 when the Bengals come to Soldier Field. He doesn't have much of a choice.
By Casey Moffitt